Nightjar Review: One of The Best Bars in London?

My love for quirky cocktail bars knows no bounds and so not long after my trip to the vintage vibes of Cahoots, I soon (and by soon I mean the next day) found my intrepid self at Old Street favourite, Nightjar.

Finding the Nightjar was surprisingly hard work. It’s not the most conspicuous of entrance. It even had Google Maps fooled and I was rapidly losing patience finding it. “Where the f** is this place” I swore out loud. Finally locating it, there saw no huge sign saying ‘Nightjar’, just a large wooden door. The only thing that gave it away is the growing throng of people queuing to get inside. I thank my lucky stars my partner in crime for the evening had the foresight to book a table ahead.

After checking-in, I descended down a narrow flight of stairs (Instagramming along the way, obvs) and stepped into a sophisticated, dimly-lit subterranean cocktail bar that reminded me a bit of the prohibition era. First impressions: pretty good.

Nightjar 01

We were put in an ‘intimate’ corner (which is sometimes used in marketing term to mean another way saying small and cramp) I shuffled my bag around cursing the slightly less spacious space. You might like to avoid bringing bags if you’re coming here.

Nightjar 02

As per normal, I took my time in choosing the right cocktail. If I’m taking my time, you know a bar has a wide selection of cocktails to choose from and the Nightjar is no exception. There’s something for everyone. From Nightjar’s original cocktails to a classic from the prohibition era. Breaking slightly from tradition, I opted for a refreshing (and quite fruity) concoction, The Charlie Chaplin, comprising Tanqueray Ten, Bael Fruit Infusion, Akashi Tai Umeshu, Madeira, Grenadine, Fresh Lime, Aronia Berries, Peach Bark.

As a speak-easy bar, cocktails are presented in its own unique way. ‘Death in the Dutch’ Stream comes in this kind of flute with dry ice billowing smoke to give that mystic effect. It has that ‘ooooohhhh’ effect when you see it for the first time.

I can’t describe the live jazz and blues session that happens every night (I had a table booked before the band arrived) but no doubt live music would definitely make the evening that whole lot better. It’s just that I wasn’t willing to fork out £8 for the privilege yet when money was already pouring out of my bank account faster than water from the Amazon.

As I sat there and allowed the booze to dissolve my-life worries, I allowed myself to wonder the kind of occasion Nightjar would be perfect for. A date, a catch up with friends? I concluded both but looking around, I noticed there were quite a few dates going on. Good choice, gents.

Nightjar 06

Nightjar 15

As I I left the establishment with the knowledge that I rather enjoyed it, I noticed a rather large crowd had formed, patiently waiting to get inside. Note to anybody hoping to spend an evening in the Nightjar: be sensible and book in advance. You’ll get a 2-hour window to enjoy yourself which is just about enough time,

Would I go back? Yeah, I’d have no objections and the Nightjar secures its spot on my list cocktail bar I’d recommend should anyone ask.

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